Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The rest of the story behind the Uptown Theater purchase

Posted By on 07.29.08 at 08:24 PM

In a quieter-than-predicted foreclosure sale, Jam Productions bought the Uptown Theater today for $3.2 million.

But that's only the latest step in the restoration of the historic property at Broadway and Lawrence. Jam owner Jerry Mickelson is telling reporters that he's going to need major financial assistance from the city.

And if you haven't figured it out by now, that probably means TIF money. Look for the funds to come from the Lawrence-Broadway TIF district. A few years back, Joseph Freed, Michelson's partner in the Uptown deal, got assistance from this TIF to fix up the Goldblatt's building, located just to the south on Broadway. And the same TIF issued $376,437 in unspecified Uptown-Theater-related expenses in 2006.

In last year's debate over the Hollywood-Sheridan TIF, Alderman Mary Ann Smith (48th) said money from the Lawrence-Broadway TIF couldn't be used to fix up the McCutcheon School because it was already earmarked for the Uptown. 

Think of it as the theater's favorite TIF . . .

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